'Chat, play, read' campaign announced to encourage learning at home

05 Apr 2019
Chat, play, read

The Department for Education has announced it will launch a new campaign later this year to support parents to incorporate ways to ‘chat, play and read’ with their children into their daily routines.

The announcement follows new research, released today, which found that almost a third of children (31%) do not read books with someone at home each day, and that parents say that having more free time (44%) and working fewer hours (37%) would help them spend more time on learning and play activities with their children.

We are a founding member of the Department for Education’s new coalition which aims to halve the number of five-year-olds who start school without good early language and communication skills by 2028.

The upcoming campaign will highlight it is never too early to help develop children’s communication, language and literacy skills and will also provide practical advice on how to fit quality interactions into parent’s daily routines.

The announcement comes as currently over 180,000 (28%) children in England are not achieving the levels of communication, language and literacy they need to thrive by the time they finish their reception year.

Ahead of the new campaign, the Department for Education has released a new, free follow-along video starring journalist and co-founder of Mum&You, Natasha Kaplinsky and media psychologist Emma Kenny, as a useful tool which guides parents on how they can Chat, Play and Read with their child. The film shows that interacting with their children can be a fun and happy time for both parent and child.

“Every seemingly small interaction between a parent and a child is a great opportunity to fill that child’s world with words: bath time can be a great time to sing a song together, bus journeys can provide opportunities to talk about what you see around you, and a trip to the library will enable you to choose a book to take home and share together. To make these small changes part of normal life, we must support the people, places and services that regularly come into contact with parents and children to promote positive messages around the three areas we know support a quality home learning environment: Chat, Play and Read.”

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust